Torey Van Oot
5 hours ago - News

Voting open for Minnesota's Name a Snowplow contest

Photo: David Brewster/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Voting is now open in the Minnesota Department of Transportation's second annual Name a Snowplow contest.

State of play: The promotion, which gave us Plowy McPlowface and seven other newly named trucks, garnered major interest and national attention when it launched last year.

Torey Van Oot
11 hours ago - News

Mapped: COVID-19 vaccines for Minnesota kids 5-11

Reproduced from a KHN analysis of CDC and NCHS data: Chart: Axios Visuals

About one in four Minnesota children ages 5 to 11 are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with rates varying significantly across the state.

The big picture: State data largely reflects a national trend of rural regions trailing more populated areas when it comes to shots for kids, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis.

  • Exceptions include several counties in Northern Minnesota, which have also posted high vaccination numbers for adults.

Why it matters: Months after the shots were approved for the cohort, rates continue to lag those for teens and adults.

Torey Van Oot
Jan 18, 2022 - News

University of Minnesota students return to campus amid Omicron surge

goldy with a mask
Photo: Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via Getty Images

University of Minnesota students return to campus ā€” and classrooms ā€” Tuesday amid spiking COVID-19 case counts.

Why it matters: The start of the semester brings tens of thousands of students, faculty and staff to the Dinkytown and East Bank neighborhoods.

Axios Twin Cities
Updated Jan 14, 2022 - News

Questions about Twin Cities indoor dining vaccine mandates, answered

Illustration of a loon with a word balloon with a question mark coming out of its mouth.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Vaccine-or-test mandates for indoor dining go into effect in Minneapolis and St. Paul on Wednesday, Jan. 19. Here are answers to some common questions on the orders:

Q: Are all restaurants covered by the requirement?

A: No, St. Paul's order only covers establishments licensed by the city. That means coffee shops, fast food chains and other places that do not serve alcohol are exempt, according to the Pioneer Press.

Torey Van Oot
Updated Jan 14, 2022 - News

Minneapolis and St. Paul to require vaccine or test for indoor dining

Illustration of a fork, knife and syringe on a napkin.
Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

New vaccine-or-test requirements for indoor dining and drinking in Minneapolis and St. Paul take effect Wednesday.

The big picture: A growing number of major cities, including Boston, Chicago and New York, have instituted similar requirements in an effort to protect public health.

Yes, but: Questions about enforcement, logistics and effectiveness of the temporary measures here remain.

Nick Halter
Jan 14, 2022 - Politics

Rent control will be top issue for Minneapolis City Council

Elliott Payne
Elliott Payne is one of several council members pushing for a strict rent control policy. Photo courtesy of Elliott Payne

Several progressive Minneapolis City Council members are making a strict rent control ordinance their first big to-do at City Hall.

Why it matters: 53% of voters approved a ballot measure last November giving the new City Council power to enact some kind of rent control ordinance.

Torey Van Oot
Updated Jan 12, 2022 - News

Twin Cities suburbs take a pass on mask mandates

The circle with a slash emoji repeated on a blue background, with one mask emoji illuminated off-center.
Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Minneapolis and St. Paul largely stand alone when it comes to reviving mask mandates in response to rising Omicron cases.

Driving the news: The Duluth City Council became the latest Minnesota city government to reject a mandate Monday night.

  • Local leaders in Bloomington passed a resolution this week encouraging, but not requiring, residents and visitors to wear masks and follow other CDC and state health guidance on curbing COVID.

Why it matters: Masking ā€” especially with an N95 or similar face coverings ā€” in crowded indoor spaces is one of the best tools we have to prevent the virus' spread.

  • The cities of Hopkins and Golden Valley cited that reasoning in passing mask mandates of their own Tuesday night.
Torey Van Oot
Jan 12, 2022 - News

Mapped: Minimum wage increases in Minnesota

Data: NELR/Axios research; Map: Will Chase/Axios

Employers must pay workers in Minneapolis at least $12.50 an hour as of this month, and those with more than 100 employees are required to pay a minimum of $14.25 an hour.

  • The increases, part of a plan to raise wages to $15 an hour, bring the annual pay for 40 hours a week to $25,000 and $28,000 respectively.
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